WARNING. A tear jerker: One woman’s journey of survival through what is formally known as PPD/PPA/PPOCD

WARNING. A tear jerker: One woman’s journey of survival through what is formally known as PPD/PPA/PPOCD

I’m writing to share what’s behind the beautiful pictures, but what’s rarely ever talked about. I’m writing to change that.

This is definitely beyond my comfort zone, but if even one Mama, one babe, one family benefits from my story, then I have met my intentions.

I’m sure by now you’ve got the idea that I’ve had my fair share of struggles. Ups & downs. Forwards & backs. Trials & tribulations.

With that being said, I’ve only ever shared the half of it. The gently filtered stuff.

I won’t get into what rock bottom looks like because that was years ago, 10ish years ago. The alcohol, the heartbreaks, the love hate relationships with food & my body, the various substances, the all over craziness that was my life.

It was my reality until one morning I woke up and decided to take my life back. I woke up feeling sick and tired of being sick and tired. I woke up and decided from that day forward, I was going to love myself instead. Eventually, as time went on and i acquired the skills to rise up, I decided I wanted to help others do the same, (take back control of their life) hence owning a women’s gym and then going on to becoming a life coach. Just to be clear, when I say control, I also mean surrender, but Ill save that for another time.

That was then. And this is now.

After almost a decade of turning struggles to strengths, I want to share something with you: I have learned a few things, but I’m not perfect, and I’m still human.

After recently becoming a new Mum, and given my “history,” it came as no surprise to me when I found myself sitting in my doctors office having the breakdown of a lifetime with the most beautiful baby girl I’ve ever laid eyes on. The full on wobbly knees, shaky hands, sobbing profusely. All in the company of an innocent, little, soft-to-touch, sweet-smelling angel.

I was convinced I was going insane. Really. Truly. Totally insane. I was scared. Very. Very scared. Because it wasn’t just me anymore.

Little Cub was there. Little Cub was and is a game changer. Little Cub was and is a life saver.

I didn’t understand what was happening. This was supposed to be the happiest time of my life, yet it was the worst time of my life. This didn’t feel like Motherhood or look like all the pictures I’ve seen either on tv or commercials. This was and wasn’t the fantasy I had dreamed about when becoming pregnant.

I was so lost. So confused. So elated, yet so scared.

I’ll never forget that day. It was the hardest day of my life. The hardest, worst day of my life. Everything about that day was raw, uncut and pure emotion.

Someone explained it like this: it’s like a false alarm going off in your brain. Those scary thoughts you speak of, they activate your fight or flight system to make you feel like it’s real danger. Except it’s not. It’s like when you have burnt toast, the fire alarm might go off, but you quickly realize that it’s a false alarm and there’s no need to do anything except wave your tea towel in the air to turn off the alarm.
Then carry on.

So time went on and I would go about my day with my tea towel, (my fire hose,) and put the fires out when I needed to. Literally. My daughter’s father, my #1 fan and I did it together. Him, being a real fireman, would sometimes help. This helped. Support and love always helped. Always. So I, and we, put out the fires until eventually they turned to ashes. I did it as many times as I needed to, and occasionally still do.

If you’ve ever experienced what I’m talking about, I’m sorry. Get your tea towel out. We’ll do it together. If you haven’t, I’m happy for you, really and truly, I am. Us fire fighting machines need support. Love and support. Lots of love and lots of support.

Now, lets’ take a breath for a moment. ——- And remember, this is a good story. A love story. A story of survival.

As my journey went on I slowly progressed and slowly got better. I sometimes took one step forward and two steps back, and I sometimes took two steps forward and one step back. I sometimes hopped all over the place and I’m not afraid to admit, I sometimes still do.

With this being said, I am through the worst of it and on the up and up. It’s not easy, in fact it’s very, very hard, but every day I wake up, I make choices. Choices that fuel the love I have for myself and choices that allow me to embrace the love of others. I am very grateful to say that my very hard work has paid off and I am nearly fully emotionally healed from what is formally known as PPD/PPA & PPOCD. I am also very happy to say that I am working alongside others who have been through this too, so together, we can help those suffering through their journeys.

This struggle turned strength is beginning to take hold and change my life. And my hope is that it will help change the lives of hundreds hopefully thousands of other Mummas and Cubs around the globe.

Details are coming, but the seeds are being planted.

Things are happening here, behind the scenes and as one of my soul sister’s pointed out, when things are meant to be the universe lines them up for you.

Maybe this was meant to happen. Maybe this was meant to happen to me because of my years of turning struggles into strengths. Maybe this was meant to happen because as the saying goes, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Maybe it wasn’t, but choosing to believe that is helping me heal.

I believe this is the universe talking. She is speaking loud and clear. She is asking me to at least try and make a difference. She is asking me to not think about my fears, but the lives of others who could use some light. Some hope. Some love.

With this being said, and hope strong, I am coming for you. Mummas, Cubs, and Daddies.

I want your story to have a happy ending. I have shared mine so you can find comfort in yours.

Know that I will do my best to find you. To show you that you can do this too. That there is nothing wrong with you. That you deserve a life of love too. As a family. A happy one. A unit of love.

I will help you rise above and you will be part of my life’s great work.

Ultimately, it was love that saved me. It can save you too.

Stay strong Mummas, and Cubs, and Daddies too.

Love always,

Jen

Ps- That all over craziness that was my life…I am who I am today because of it. To everyone who has shared in my shade of crazy: Thank You. I love you. I love you. Xoxo

Pps- Please share my story to help me spread the word. To spread it to the woman suffering in silence. The woman afraid to speak up. To the baby who needs his or her Mumma to feel good again. To the baby who just wants to be in their Mum’s arms. We always hear “you’re not alone,” but sometimes don’t believe it. Here’s to you Mommas out there fighting a hard battle, this is me, speaking to you.

——–

Dear Cub,

I love you more than words can say, I love you more and more each day. I love you today, and tomorrow, and every day that follows.

You are the love of my life, and my heart and soul. I love you with every inch of my being and I can feel that love deep in my bones.

July 3rd was the day that changed my life. Forever. It will never be the same again. Since that day, my mind has changed, my body has changed, my whole life has changed. I have interesting thoughts. I have a tummy pooch from where I carried you like a kangaroo. I have this pretty new color in my hair, it looks like the magical snow we saw on the ground at Christmas time. And I have these circles under my eyes that I don’t even need make up to draw on, they’re just naturally there!

For this, and you, I am eternally grateful. Mummy feels like she won the lottery every day that she gets to wake up and walk to your room and see your beautiful smiling face staring up at hers. She gets this feeling all over her body that she’s the luckiest Mumma in the world to have such an amazing little girl like you. And she gets this feeling all over her body like she’s so excited she can’t wait to pick you up and feel your baby heart beat against hers and have your baby arms wrap around her neck. It’s kind of like how you feel when you get to jump in your jolly jumper, or play with your animal toys in the bath. That kind of excitement.

Sometimes, even though she is very excited, and very very happy have you in her life, sometimes she gets a little bit scared. Sometimes, Mummie’s imagination runs wild and free and sometimes, Mummy experiences thoughts and feelings she doesn’t always like. Those are the times that Mummy especially likes to go for walks, take naps and do nothing but slow down and snuggle with you on the couch.

Those are the times that she likes to smell the back of your neck because your baby smell helps her feel love again. And Those are the times when she sometimes breathes funny and asks Daddy for extra hugs because Daddy hugs are the best!

One day, far far away, when you are a bigger girl, a much bigger girl, Mumma will tell you a little more about what happens sometimes when you have a baby, but for now, all you need to know if how much she loves you.

You are the best thing that has ever happened to her, besides your Daddy, and there will never be a day in her life where she doesn’t think about you, want to be with you, and love you.

She is very much looking forward to spending the rest of her life with you, and she’s really excited for the times when you make art projects at school and bring them home for her to hang on the fridge. She is also very much looking forward to the times when you finish your day at school and can’t wait to see her.

There will never be a day go by, ever in your life where she isn’t there for you and she doesn’t fight for you.

Mummy loves you little Cub, more than you will ever know.

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